Testing Vintage: 1960’s Ralta Hair Dryer

During our Testing Vintage series, we have tried out soap, cold cream, some cosmetics and curlers but so far, nothing that needs to be plugged into the wall. I do have a weird irratinal fear that I will plug something really old and broken into the power and blow a fuse so together we will be facing that fear today by testing out our first gadget; a 1960’s Ralta Hair Dryer. I found this little baby in a small vintage store here in Perth many many months ago (possibly even last year) and believe it or not, I still haven’t plugged it in to see if it works. With a little research I managed to find out that she was made in the 60’s in New Zealand by the Ralta company which ran from 1954 till 1997. This particular hair dryer was marketed as light weight, portable, double insulated with multiple heat settings. During my internet searching, I found this drying in various colours including, green and yellow. The one I found is a lilac/pink colour with a cream dome.

The first thing I did, you know, once I decided to actually test out the poor thing, was clean her plug and tentatively plug her in …. she works! I tested a few heat settings and she seemed to be happy so I unplugged her and started to clean her up. She was really dirty, covered in scuff marks and had heaps of dust inside her. Using some basic spray and wipe, I gave her a once over and a fair amount of surface dirt lifted. I then went in with some gumption on a paper towel which lifted most of the marks. She is still left with some scratch marks on the outside but she’s pretty perfect on the inside. To finish off, I wiped her down with a damp mcirofibre and she was pretty good to go.

Now I normally set my hair in the evenings and let them set overnight, to give them a fair test, I set them in the morning using my Lottabody setting spray (something new I’m testing) and some bendy curlers, then popped myself under the hood starting with the warm setting. After about 15 minutes I moved onto the medium setting for 30 minutes and then on hot for 10. My hair takes a while to dry and it doesn’t hold heat very well which is why I decided to sit under the hood for just under an hour (it’s also a great way to spend some time on social media).

Now for the results; well, I have pretty great curls! I didn’t do a specific setting pattern and I wanted soft curls for the day so my hair was set in bigger sections than normal. My curls were dry which was a plus and they didn’t have a gross crunch to them (certain setting lotions and heat can create a sugar-like coating with a weird crunchy texture). I found the hood very comfortable, quiet and I didn’t feel like my hair was burning off. There were no weird smells coming off the hood and I was really relaxed and comfortable the whole time. I brushed out my hair in a soft wave and set it with some spray. My curls held all day which I was very happy about.

I am really chuffed with my first ever gadget on my Testing Vintage series. I am really happy with how this dryer worked and I will definitely be using it again in the future. I normally use a modern day soft-hood dryer so this was a great was to see if there was a difference. Although the modern method is faster (it’s powdered by my modern blow dryer), the Ralta dryer gave me a chance to relax and have some me time. I also found it comfortable to drink tea whilst under the hood. I have a few other gadgets I am not keen to test out so check back soon to see if I can face my fears once again!


Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

3 thoughts on “Testing Vintage: 1960’s Ralta Hair Dryer

  1. Vintage Dreams says:

    I’m glad your test of the vintage hair dryer went well. I really wanted to buy one myself and almost did, but then I found out that before a certain point in the 1970s, many if not most electronics were made with… asbestos! That’s right, toxic stuff! 😦 And as time passes, the asbestos can begin to fall apart, so if you have an old hair dryer, you can imagine what that means–blowing asbestos all about your house and breathing it in!

    There’s much more info on this if you Google it, but suffice it to say, I decided the risk was absolutely not worth it and am looking to buy a modern hard- or soft-bonnet dryer instead. If only their designs looked as good as the older models! Maybe someday.


    • missmonmon says:

      Yes I have heard this too! It got me a bit worried and even though many people this particular one is safe I’m still not risking it. I’m just going to use it as a prop as it’s so pretty. Definitely get a modern hood that you can put over your hair dryer (ebay has heaps and so does amazon). I have one and it’s brilliant!
      Thanks for stopping by ❤ ❤


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